1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) - Bières de Chimay S.A.

Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

5,547 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5547
Reviews: 2119
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%


Brewed by:
Bières de Chimay S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2001)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,547 | Reviews: 2,119 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JimiO
JimiO

Nevada

3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From a 750ml bottle

Nice rich color... reddish dark amber... cloudy... fine bubbles

Plain on the nose... some spice... cloves and raison

Not nearly as flavorful as I was expecting... yeasty/hoppy... crispy... a bit bitter... dry... cloves and sliced green apples

Feels light to medium body in the mouth

Overall... I was a little disappointed... I think it tastes better from a tap

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 22:48:34 | More by JimiO
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Ruby red on the pour with some burnt orange hues. Creamy, fine-bubbled off white head retains well at a quarter of an inch. Lacing leaves a thin mesh-like coating on the glass.

S: Bread pudding. Candy Apple coating. Hints of sweet ripe cherries. A bevy of spices coming from the yeast; cinnamon, brown sugar, and subtle clove. Nutty yeast, brown cocoa, thin drizzle of light caramel.

T: Candy shell. Sweet cherries and plums. Bread crust, brown cocoa, and runny light caramel. Nutty yeast. Complex yeast-derived spice flavors. Clove, brown sugar, hint of cinnamon and pepper. Fleeting tropical passion fruit esters. Pear and sliced apple. More cocoa and crust. Hollow hop bitterness balances and adds perhaps just a slight grassy note. Finish dries a bit but leaves a lingering bready and brown cocoa flavor.

M: There is some substance and a slight sense of weight in the feel, but it is heavily downplayed by a high attenuation and ample carbonation that gently lifts and scrubs. All of this leaves an airy, rounded and slightly firm feel. Mild warmth too.

O: One of the more widely known and easily attainable Trappist ales. Highly complex and easily drinkable for its size. I think the Rouge is still my favorite in the Chimay line, but this is a hell of a beer too. A must-try for any beer aficionado.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 19:31:41 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of chogm54
chogm54

Australia

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Im not going to add anything new to a massively popular beer. Im a fan of chimay red and white, and its been a long time since i've had the blue. now its time to pull up the sleeves, not make any plans to drive, and get stuck in to a nice pint sized bottle (served in tulip glass)

A - dark brown (colour of golden syrup), pours a nice head (5mm) that stays and stays and stays. clear, but with a brown so dark it is only semi transparent.

S - despite its strength, there is not much of an alcohol smell. Cloves, coffee, raisin odours coming through, not overpowering

t - sweet, caramel tastes with a slight alcohol warming at the end. Reminds me of brandy.

m - smooth, almost creamy texture, lively carbonation, nicely balanced.

The only >8% beer that i can drink anytime, anyplace. Also the beer I recommend for those asking me about belgian beer. Always welcome.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 11:06:17 | More by chogm54
Photo of j2beer
j2beer

Texas

4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great full flavored beer. Love the citrus undertones. Great balance of sweet and bitters. Only criticism is the carbonation is a bit high almost like a soda. And it's a bit pricey this would be good celebration beer instead of champagne cuz it cork pops the same. Cheers

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 09:50:34 | More by j2beer
Photo of BeerDrinker01
BeerDrinker01

United Kingdom (England)

4.74/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bomber served in Chimay goblet. Dark Brown with a White slightly tanned two-finger head nice carbonation with heavy lacing. Aromas of Raisins, Fig, Prunes, Molasses, Spicy Pepper, Apple, Punchy Belgian yeast! Taste Fig, Prunes, Molasses, Roasted malt & spicy yeast Nice & warm at the back from the ABV! Mouthfeel Medium-full bodied well-balanced with High carbonation very crisp!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 12:48:00 | More by BeerDrinker01
Photo of BarleyBeatsGrapes
BarleyBeatsGrapes

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the first review I'm going to write and it was this beer that inspired me. To me, this was the perfect beer. Mellow, smooth, and strong. I've been trying different porters, stouts, barley wines, and old ales but this one was the most approachable and balanced. It wasn't the best 'everyday' beer but that's not what I was looking for... Perfect sipper, great taste!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 04:19:27 | More by BarleyBeatsGrapes
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Dark purple/red with a slightly off white head.

S: Not much of a nose, somewhat citric, a few traces of distinctively Belgian yeast esters.

T: Taste has some notes of citrus, banana, grape and other fruits, more fruity Belgian esters.

M: Fuller side of medium bodied, average, if harsh, level of carbonation.

O: Slightly edges out the other two common, year-round Chimays, but it's grossly overrated. It is a really good beer, but it is not one of the best Belgian ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 05:42:04 | More by BierJager89
Photo of Andrew041180
Andrew041180

Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a Chimay goblet. I poured slowly, and about a finger's worth of light, bubbly head spring up. A little fizzy looking. The head receded pretty quickly and maintains a film. The head clings to the glass, but does not form any lacing. The beer is quite dark. Very dark brown with some nice highlights when the light strikes it right.

S - Honestly, I detect almost nothing here. Some faint semi-sweet malty tones.

T - Here is where the beer starts to pick up. Something of a dark fruit sweetness with a convincing bitter presence at mid-palate. The finish evolves significantly with a dry, almost tart flavor. Nice complexity. Just a bit of alcohol detectable on the finish.

M - Excellent. Medium-full bodied with some carbonation detectable. The dry finish is great, and leaves me wanting more. Not as a means for clearing some bizarre aftertaste, but because it really is that good.

O - Slow start, but I'm warming up to it. It doesn't knock my socks off in any significant way, but I appreciate the range of feel and flavors that you get from this beer. Nice sipper.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 00:44:55 | More by Andrew041180
Photo of Bernoulli
Bernoulli

South Carolina

4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice smell of grapes and beer.

Opaque (slightly-hazy) golden-brown.

1/2" head fades relatively fast with no lacing.

The stereotypical Trappist ale taste is a bit hidden by the slight grapiness. You can feel the alcohol's warmth, but the taste of alcohol isn't overpowering. A very nice warmer!

The tragedy is that we have so much to say about mediocre and bad beers, but not much to say about the great ones.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 22:28:43 | More by Bernoulli
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet, natch.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color with great opacity. The head is about two fingers high, with an off-white shade. Typical of the style, it's very airy in texture and a bit rough-looking, and its retention is decent without being spectacular. No much lacing to speak of.

S: At first, the aroma is mostly bready and peppery, lacking in both fruit esters and even darker malts. There are also touches of earth here and there. To get the most out of this beer's nose, you really have to let it warm up - this way, it will develop some nice tones of caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, cherries, and raisins. While the aroma develops into something quite good, not once does it jump out at me; it's rather mild to a fault.

T: There is a good amount of raisin flavor as soon as this hits the palate. Past the swallow, it transitions into a sweet caramel-and-chocolate flavor to go with its earthy (but not funky) yeast. There seems to be something ever-so-slightly off about this one, especially on the back end - I want to say it's kind of metallic? Yeah, that's it. Metallic. Some stank-ass cheese flavor also pops up in spurts, but I don't consider that a flaw. The complexity here is quite good.

M: The carbonation is quite intense. This makes it light-feeling and a bit prickly, but also very drinkable. Once the fizz calms down, it still remains very dry on the back end. The feel does a good job of reminding me why I enjoy my Belgian-style ales to come from Belgium itself: the carbonation doesn't try to cover up an overly sweet finish, while still retaining a complex nature.

O: Almost great, but that metallic strangeness kind of hurts. This and the mellow aroma keep it out of the fabled 4 range, sadly. I imagine this would go great with a stank-ass cheese (preferably from Chimay themselves), and this is certainly worth having again to find out. Still, my favorite (non-quad) BSDA remains Gouden Carolus Classic.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 22:23:14 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of LVituri
LVituri

Brazil

4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A Chimay é outra grande cervejaria trapista belga, e essa cerveja parece ser o carro chefe do selo. Elas são mais leves e equilibradas que as outras trapistas. Menos complexas e mais versáteis. A blue é escura e forte na medida. As versões em rolha são realmente surpreendentes.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 13:03:20 | More by LVituri
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle, best before 2018.

Body is chestnut colored, lots of foam, some even oozing out of the bottle. Average retention with minimal lacing, expected more. The rest is great though. Inviting aroma including spices, flavor is rich with dark plums, candied fruits, fruit cake and a bit of sugar. Overall, a great ale, just needs work on the appearance.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 01:42:20 | More by papat444
Photo of BeerDocT
BeerDocT

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, Chimay. Dusty, expensive bottles lining the shelves of beer stores across the globe. What's inside? What could it be? Will cost prove to be predicate to excellence?

Poured into a chilled La Trappe goblet.

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a dark amber with a nice head...well over half an inch. Good lacing.

Smell 3.75: Bouquet is subdued and very strange for this style. I smell Belgian yeast, but phenols from different styles: banana, cloves. Also, there is a nice hint of earthiness.

Taste 4.0: Front is slightly sweet, but in a warming way. Middle is silky smooth and just delightful with hints of treacly malt and some light noble hops. Finish is smooth with a big wave of malt and some interesting tastes of adjuncts, specifically corn. Aftertaste is long and silky, but sticks to the basics: malt and...well, malt.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Smooth, well-balanced and lovely on the palate.

Overall 4.0: Outstanding Belgian Dark, but not the best I have ever had. The bouquet is a bit off and the taste is somewhat one-dimensional, but -nonetheless-- this is an excellent brew. So, my advice is to save up your sheckles and buy a bottle of this to try. Then once you have done so, save up some more money (less than Chimay, BTW) and buy a bottle of St. Feuillien Speciale instead. Or, go to your local Trader Joe's and buy 750ML of a comparable beer for $5.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 05:35:27 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of MattBeer
MattBeer

California

3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I get why people are crazy for this beer. And don't get me wrong, I finished the whole (big, corked and basketed) bottle. But I don't think it's a world-beater.

It's beautiful, for sure. You want a strong dark ale, and you couldn't photoshop one much better.

The smell is full of dark fruit and not-overpowering sweetness. It's really inviting.

The taste is complex and delic--wait. What's that? Am I just not in love with the yeast, or maybe the esters or something? It's tough to pin down what holds this back from being amazing, which is a testament to the number and variety of flavors in it. But there's one too many cooks in the kitchen, and he's a dick.

The mouthfeel unfortunately accentuates whatever's going on in the taste that, admit it, you don't love either. I mean you may love the overALL taste, but you know something's holding it back. The prickly supercarbonation pushes whatever that thing is right into your taste buds.

When they write movie reviews and talk about flawed masterpieces, they're probably drinking this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 22:54:35 | More by MattBeer
Photo of dirtydisk
dirtydisk

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from a 750 ml bomber.

Appearance: murky brown - May have been overly chilled, but still looks representative of Belgian strong dark ale

Smell: liquor, Belgian yeast, and sweetness

Taste: like drinking a fine red wine. One of the most complex sips I've had. No hint of alcohol. Fruit, spice, roast malt, Belgian yeast, raisins, clove, and more

Mouthfeel: creamy, fully bodied. Traditional Belgian carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 03:58:51 | More by dirtydisk
Photo of Mike_Moe
Mike_Moe

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark brown, white tan head
Aroma: Smell is very sweet with some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol.
Flavor: You can tell it has a 9% ABV, but it still goes down very smooth. Tastes of rich malt on the back of your tongue, like dark chocolate. The beer is a bit heavy.
Thick, full bodied, non bitter finish.
Overall: If you’re looking for thick, full bodied beer with an alcoholic punch, this ones for you.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 06:51:32 | More by Mike_Moe
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

The appearance stands out due to the thick, frothy head that resembles the top of a serving of espresso. The liquid is dark brown, cloudy, and almost murky looking with some slight carbonation.

I don't get a lot of aroma on this one. The dark fruit, plum and fig notes are there and I expect that, but not much else, just some slight yeastiness.

The taste is similar to the smell, with the heavy dark fruit, some malty sweetness and the lingering taste of candied syrup.

I was impressed by the mouthfeel, as there's some spiciness, only slight carbonation and chewy, creaminess in the middle. Most importantly, there's no alcohol burn.

Overall, it's a tasty beer, but I don't get the complexity and variety of tastes and aromas that the other Chimay offerings provided. Good but not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 20:30:07 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher

Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a small bottle from Total Wine in DE. About $5 for a small bottle. Poured into a large tulip glass for review.

Pours brown with amber reddish highlights. After a careful pour, I still got plenty of yeast sediment in my glass. Smells very fruity: rum raisin, pears, green apples, some white grapes. Vinous like and a tad boozy. Tastes fruity upfront much like in the nose. Some background dark malts, maybe some chocolate or caramel - tough to tell behind all the fruity favors. Feels medium full with strong boozy alcohol that burns the back of the throat. Ample carbonation that lends almost a spritzy feeling during every sip. After a careful pour, not much head in my glass lingers.

A great Belgian beer. Would def drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 01:30:23 | More by jwhancher
Photo of BeerGod27
BeerGod27

South Carolina

4.91/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured dark with a good head. Lots of small bubbles coming up from the bottom.
Nose is full-bodied with bready, banana, warm, buttery and toffee characteristics.
Yeast, banana bread, plum, yeast, warming alcohol flavors are apparent on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is very smooth, yet crisp with good carbonation
Excellent beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 18:49:02 | More by BeerGod27
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a genuine Chimay goblet. Perhaps lighter than expected, a ruddy orange-brown with a massive amount of tannish head. The forth settles down a bit but the carbonation remains brisk. Although one's Belgian dark ale schema is screaming heavy and thick, this classic is in fact silky smooth, creamy, and of only moderate body, although the flavors are assertive enough. Aroma of cooked orchard fruit (pears and apples), raisins, dates, sweet grains, and a decent dose of cellar must. Boozy and a bit funky in the yeast sense. Although the aroma is not terribly spicy (maybe its my crap sense of smell), the palate is spice-forward ... Pepper and pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and a rather unique and very pleasing floral/herbal essence like dried basil and sandalwood. Malts remind one of rye bread and hints of toasted crust. Sweet rum, dates, treacle, a whiff of chocolate ... A fresher fruitiness as well in this example, almost like Concord grapes. Intermittent blasts of alcohol. The king of Chimay. Perhaps lighter and drier than other Belgian darks but has its own herbal/floral character paired with the yeast, spice, and dark fruit one would expect. A standby in my beer fridge and shockingly drinkable for such a heavy hitter.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 07:25:52 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy

California

4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, Duvel tulip. Unsure of bottling date, but this bottle was aged 1-2 years after I got it.

Immediately yields a double layered fawn head. The beer is the color of figs, deep red brown.

Smells of bread pudding, raisins, toffee, sweet doughy, fruity yeast, vanilla. Hints of alcohol throughout. Simple, but outstandingly put together.

Yeasty sweet bread, bread pudding, cinnamon rolls not iced, sweetened iced coffee, rum raisin. There's more alcohol here; bitter and a bit estery.

The weight is unremarkable in the mouth. Not too much carbonation despite the large head. Nothing is out of wack and the focus is on the aroma and flavors.

I can see why this is a classic. It's not flashy, but it is very good. There is alcohol, but it falls into line nicely with everything else.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 04:02:05 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of DaveBar
DaveBar

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a wide mouth glass.
330ml bottle at 10deg C
L13-022 2018

A dark ale wih substance. Excellent product at a great price.... $3.65/ea at the LCBO.

S- Light and thin. Not indicative of what the flavor is like

T- Excellent! Very enjoyable. Light on the tongue cold. Opens slowly to expose a light nutmeg flavor. Once it warms it does power up but not hot by any means. Having this one with 6mths since purchase I don't think hotness can be subdued yet.

M- Smooth. Leaves a touch of bitter nut at the end. Carbination stays and stays and stays. VERY lively.

O- Very very good. Will definitely cellar a few.

I don't know why the reviews bash this offering after aging too long however at the price I will try to see how they age every 6mths on every year's batch. Will update this review as I do.

Food Pairing

This excellent little dark ale will pair very well with... Hamburgers

I do cook from comfort to natural to gourmet but do believe in keeping it simple for the most part. Hamburgers will accent this slightly heavy beer. Keep your toppings low and simple and this pairing will compliment each other very well.

Enjoy

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 17:47:17 | More by DaveBar
Photo of imscotty
imscotty

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330ml bottle in a Chimay glass. I love when I find these little pygmy bottles of Chimay, the Bombers are too much unless you are sharing with a few friends.

A: Color is a reddish amber. Pours with a strong head that settles down but lingers a bit, Fairly strong lacing. An attractive brew.

S: Light malt sent, figs and caramel. Some deep rich fruit.

T: Taste figs and dark fruit, caramel. On the finish there is a tart, almost astringent flavor (almost like pomegranate). A nicely balanced range of flavors.

M: The carbonation in this beer is fairly strong and course. I notice the more that I let it sit and warm up the more the flavors stay on the tongue. Nice body and a little pleasant heat from the alcohol.

O: A nice representation of the Belgian style.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 01:52:57 | More by imscotty
Photo of Matty-K
Matty-K

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter, a little too cold. Fantastic caramel appearance. Full head faded quickly to nice lacing. What a mouthfeel! Absolutely deduces the tongue, and lingers about for a long but light finish. The alcohol is never forward - this is simply perfectly balanced.

Clearly the work of masters at their art.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 18:22:58 | More by Matty-K
Photo of Duane_Opfer
Duane_Opfer

Virginia

4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 fl oz bottle poured into a stemmed goblet. No date on bottle. Consumed on 12/1. Written from notes.

A - Tawny purple in color with >1 finger of large bubble foam. Heavy carbonation. Very distinct lines. Lating head due to high carb. No lasting lacing; slowly slides down side of glass and rejoins liquid. No sediment. Whenever liquid recedes, a coating of small bubbles remains.

S - Apple, pear, and dark grapes.

T - Tart grape, plum, and raisins. Hides ABV on delivery, but very warming. Slightly spicy due to alcohol content.

M - Medium bodied and not dry. High carbonation yields an intense tingle throughout mouth. Slightly sticky.

O - Interesting, but not style. Recommend a try though.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 18:11:50 | More by Duane_Opfer
Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue) from Bières de Chimay S.A.
96 out of 100 based on 5,547 ratings.